TCSD Board votes on 3 major district decisions

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Tonight, in the Teton County School District Board of Trustees regular meeting, some big decisions were on the agenda. There were three main issues up for board vote: *1. Approval of the Capacity Remedy* Here are the options presented for the capacity remedy: - A: Build a second new elementary School (the first school is underway and is set to open fall 2018.) - B. Additions to Wilson and Colter - C. Additions to Wilson and JHMS The board discussed how this is the best decision based on the current predictions made in the capacity study, and also the fact that the time from decision to school opening takes roughly eight years to complete. *Vote: The board voted unanimously for option A, to build a second new elementary school.* *2. Decision of the Elementary School Configuration* Here are the options presented for the elementary school configuration: - K-5 - K-6 Superintendent Gillian Chapman's recommendation at the meeting was K - 5. *Vote: The board voted unanimously to update the configuration to K - 5 with the exception of Alta, which will remain k - 6.* *3. Dual Immersion Program Configuration* For this decision, the Board of Trustees was to decide the configuration of the dual immersion program and whether or not the program is offered through a whole school model (magnet school) or if the program should be offered in a strands model at both Colter and Jackson Elementary Schools. "I really want to make everyone happy, but I can't," said Superintendent Chapman in the meeting. "I would suggest expanding the Duel Immersion program while maintaining community schools." "I have taken the neutral ground on this one. It allows us to expand the program and retain strands at neighborhood schools," she said. The presentation was followed by passionate and emotional public comment by teachers, parents and community members. One teacher spoke for a magnet school, saying that a strands program would spread the teachers too thin. Another teacher said that a strands program leaves the culture at the door, where in a magnet school students are immersed in culture. One teacher urged the board to listen to the teachers, who seem to prefer the magnet option. Some parents said that creating a magnet school would divide the students from their friends and said that kids should have the opportunity to play and eat lunch with the kids in the strands program. Trustee Keith Gingery made a motion to make the new Hog Island Elementary School a magnet school for the duel immersion program. That motion failed 5 to 2 After some discussion, another trustee moved that the board expand the program while maintaining community schools, which supports the strands model at both Colter and Jackson Elementary Schools. *Vote: The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the strands model at both Colter and Jackson Elementary Schools.* More information on these issues are available here. *Feature Photo:Teton County School District Board of Trustees Meeting.